The Philippine Tarsier (Tarsius syrichta) is an endangered tarsier species endemic to the Philippines. They are cute little creatures with huge eyes and very long limbs, usually just about 4 to 6 inches in height. Because of their small size, the Philippine Tarsier usually fall prey to owls and stray cats—besides, of course, for the human hunters who capture these creatures to keep as pets or sold for trade.
I was fortunate enough to see the tarsier up close in a Tarsier Sanctuary when I visited Tagbilaran City in the province of Bohol. The tarsier is a nocturnal creature, and the ones we saw basically just clung on the branches while some hard-headed tourists poked their backs to get their attention (people are discouraged from touching the animals, as doing so may cause them undue distress and might accidentally harm them).
The Philippine Tarsier primarily eats insects—I was able to witness the caretaker feed the tarsier crickets and grasshoppers skewered on a stick.
Apart from hunting, the destruction of the tarsier’s natural habitat has also led to endangering the species’ survival. Because of this, a legislation was passed to include the Philippine Tarsier as one of the country’s protected wildlife species. There are also efforts from NGOs to protect the survival of the Philippine Tarsier.
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